While you can find the same big-box arts and craft stores found in every major city in Chicago as well, there are also many smaller neighborhood craft shops that offer a fresh new take on the crafting business. What’s special about these independent craft shops? Not only do they carry unique merchandise, but they offer superior personalized service, which draws Chicago crafters back to them time and time again.

Fishmans Fabrics is a gem of a place for those who love textiles. (Credit: http://www.fishmansfabrics.com)

Fishman’s Fabrics

1101 S. Desplaines St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Do you lust after decorator fabrics not found in regular fabric stores? Are you looking for linen from Belgium, Scottish cashmeres, or luxurious leather for home décor or clothing crafting projects (all at very reasonable prices)? This fabulous fabric store, tucked away in a southside industrial park is a gem of a place for those who love textiles. It boasts a huge selection of fabric and trims. Even the downstairs remnant room is a treasure chest of goods. Staff here can answer any question about the fabric they sell, along with sage advice about your crafting projects.

Genesis Art Supply is a haven for great deals on crafting supplies. (Credit: http://www.genesisartsupply.com)

Genesis Art Supply

2714 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

Staffed by artists who know their paints and brushes, Genesis is not just one of the best shops for crafting in Chicago, but is a haven for great deals on crafting supplies. With a focus on fine art supplies, drafting equipment and a selection of discount art materials, this neighborhood store is very hands-on. Genesis also offers professional framing in-house.

Paper Source offers a warehouse full of specialty papers. (Credit: http://www.paper-source.com)

Paper Source

232 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610

This magical store is a warehouse of inspiration for those who love to work with paper or anyone who appreciates fine cards, stationery and wrapping paper. The store’s specialty, of course, is paper for crafting projects. The wide variety of paper (sold by the sheet) comes in a range of colors, inks, patterns, finishes and weights. Best of all, Paper Source is a great place to take crafting classes to figure out what to do with all that paper you purchase. You can also find crafting items such as stamps, embellishments and books to provide plenty of inspiration once you leave the store.

This journaling card is just one of the many specialty items offered at Windy City Scrapbooking. (Credit: http://www.windycityscrapbooking.com)

Windy City Scrapbooking

22655 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

The scrapbooking craze has taken over the crafting world, and this is a great store to feed that hunger. With every type of paper, ribbon and embellishment imaginable, Windy City’s stock is always changing, and seems new each time you visit. One real benefit for the working crafter is the store’s late-night Friday hours (they stay open till 11 p.m.). Windy City Scrapbooking also offers a wide range of workshops and classes on the art of scrapbooking, and the staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic!